Studying in the UK

The United Kingdom’s education system has a long history of inviting and welcoming international students. Year after year some 250 000 – 300 000 overseas students choose to come to the UK to study various programmes ranging from English language courses to university/college degrees. Besides the United States, the UK is arguably the most popular destination that students choose to spend their time.

British qualifications are globally recognised and highly valued throughout the world. Besides academic qualification, there is a wide range of options ranging from vocational courses to PhD. During your stay in the UK, you will have the opportunity to improve your CV by working and improving your English. Living on your own in a new country is exciting to experience independence, a new culture, develop your skills and so on. According to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings, the UK proudly has seven out of ten top universities in Europe. It is very important to start preparation for a visa application well before the start of the course (whether it is an English Language Course or a University/College one). There are a lot of students that underestimate the time it takes to fully prepare a case. Visa applications can be done 3 months before the start date of the course. It is a good idea to do research and if necessary ask for help from relevant immigration lawyers to assist you with the application process.

Situational circumstances

Depending on the situation the name of the visa will change (usually depends on the age and what the person needs). The application process remains the same and documents may vary depending only on the circumstances. The different type of visas depending on these “circumstances” are:

  • Short-term Study Visa: For those who are aged 18 or over and you wish to study in the UK for 6 months. However, if you want to join and English Language Course, you can apply for an extended visa to stay for up to 11 months
  • Short-term Study (child) Visa: As the name implies this type of visa is for children aged between 4 – 17 and if the child in question wants to study for 6 months
  • Tier 4 (Child) Student Visa: This visa is for children who are aged between 4 – 17 to study in a school
  • Tier 4 (General) Visa: this type of visa is for those that are 16 or over and wish to study in the UK

Short-term study (English Language Course)

English is the international language of business, science and technology. By studying and living in the UK you can join various English Language Schools to improve your communication skills and living in a busy city like London will only enhance it! To study English you can apply for a Short-term Study visa and there are two options, you can either apply for 6 months (under 18) or 11 months (over 18). The
application process is not difficult you will need to prove that you can:

  • Have enough money to support yourself (while there is no specific number for how much fund you need
    to have, some schools and universities suggest around £800 per month if living in London)
  • Have a place to live during your course
  • You have the possibility to pay for your journey
  • You have a place to study
  • Proof that you are allowed to travel/use funds/have a place to live (independently) if you are under
    18
  • Tuberculosis test (depends on the country and the length of the course)

Students

Children have their own subcategory in the Tier 4 division. Children who are 4 – 17 can apply for this visa so they can join a school in the UK. Certain care arrangements will have to be present for the child from the moment he applies for the visa. Those who wish to study in a university have to apply under Tier 4 (General) subcategory. Most undergraduate degrees in the UK will take about three years and master’s degrees take one, compared to two or even four years in many countries. This offers you the ability to save your time and money by studying in the UK. Also, if your visa (depending on the type and where you study) is longer than 6 months, your student visa will permit you to work in the UK so you could support yourself. Furthermore, you will have access to free health care on the National Health Service. Finally, although London can be expensive, many of the UK’s leading institutions are based outside London where the cost of living is decisively lower. For those that wish to study here whether it is a university or a school will have to fulfil certain requirements.

  • They have been offered a place to study
  • Can communicate in English at the required level (usually proven by either an IELTS test result)
  • Have enough money to support yourself and pay for the course (amounts depend on circumstances)
  • Tuberculosis test (depending on the country and the length on the course)
  • A place to live during the course
  • If you are under 18 proof of parental consent

Again, all the documents have to be translated into English if an individual wish for it to succeed. The decision is usually made 3 weeks from the date of application.

Conclusion

Studying in England is a great opportunity to not just learn the language but experience western culture and at the end of your visa you might even decide to stay and settle in the UK. However, depending on your age and how long you have lived there, there might be some extra hurdles that you will have to jump. Such challenges can be confronted when the appropriate time arises but for the present do consider
your options and take some time to research and prepare yourself for a new leap in life and if you ever need any help we are always here to assist you.

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